ranted and raved pointed out here more times than I can cite that the rampant mendacity of opponents of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative knows no bounds. Now a prominent columnist, Thomas Bray, in a major Michigan newspaper, the Detroit News, has noticed, and skewered, the same sorry phenomenon. One United Michigan, the coalition of elites opposing MCRI, Bray writes, “is leaving no fear unturned in its efforts to portray the Michigan measure as the end of civilization as we know it.”
Several of the examples he cites would be hilarious if they weren’t so pathetic.
One United Michigan lately has been stressing the threat that the initiative supposedly poses to females. A recent press alert issued by its spokesman even proclaimed that — horror of horrors! — the state’s Department of Natural Resources might have to abandon a program to train women in hunting and other outdoor sports if the initiative is approved.
It is probably news to most people, including women, that the state feels a need to spend taxpayer money training anybody how to hunt or otherwise recreate.
Assuming for the sake of argument that tax money should be spent to train anyone how to hunt, I think western civilization would survive opening such course to wannabe hunters of any and all sexes.
Even more pathetic is the position of Mike Bouchard, Oakland County sheriff who seems to be leading the race for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, who came out against MCRI early in his campaign. (The leadership of both parties opposes MCRI.)
“I believe that people should be judged on merit,” he says, but then quickly adds that he opposes the civil rights initiative because of possible “unintended consequences” — such as the threat he says it poses to single-sex schools of the sort his daughter attends.
What arrant nonsense! Bray has no trouble puncturing this unctuous hot air balloon:
But the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Virginia Military Institute decision several years ago, outlawed single-sex education at taxpayer expense anyway, making that a moot issue. And the Michigan initiative specifically targets “public education,” not the private Catholic school his daughter attends.
That one ranks right up there with University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman wringing her hands at the thought that MCRI would prevent U-M from engaging in outright sexist hiring. Really! Allow me to quote myself from a year ago, quoting her:
Coleman’s talk was devoted to predicting the various ways that the sky would fall on Michigan women if MCRI passes. Some of the items in her parade of horribles were obviously true, though not horrible: “Coleman said any gender-specific program administered by the state could be targeted if MCRI succeeds.” Well, yes. If you outlaw discrimination on the basis of gender, discrimination on basis of gender will indeed be “targeted.”
Some of what she worried about was simply wrong — that MCRI would prevent “outreach” programs to encourage women to enter non-traditional fields, or that it would bar support for activities that primarily involve women. As Chetly Zarko, MCRI spokesman, said, “MCRI allows programs that do not formally exclude men but attract women almost exclusively.”
Some of what she said was inexplicably odd: “that research is funded by the federal government and taxpayer’s dollars should not support a system that does not serve the entire population.” Well, yes, but how would barring discrimination prevent research dollars from serving “the entire population”?
Good question! Now note Coleman’s remarkable answer:
Coleman also argued that gender-specific policies in academia are necessary for the health of the American public. She noted that medical research conducted at the University must address the health concerns of both men and women. She held that women’s health issues could only be adequately addressed if women were actually conducting the research.
Note that this is not “one factor among many.” This is not “diversity.” This is undiluted sex-based job qualifications.
Reasonable people can oppose MCRI, but an astounding amount of the actual opposition to MCRI is not reasonable. It’s hysterical (in both senses: suffering from hysteria; extremely funny).